January 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Art, Hilltown Families)
Tags: exhibits, Fine Art, Galleries, Visual Art
Visual Art in Western MA:
February Openings, Closings & Calls for Art
Heath Seniors Painting Exhibit
Heath Free Public Library
Currently on view
The Heath Seniors Painting Exhibit at the Heath Free Public Library will feature more than twenty paintings. These beautiful works of art were created by senior Heath residents this past fall during Open Art Studio sessions in the Heath Senior Center. Both the display and the opening Artists’ Reception offer a unique opportunity to connect across generations. Each senior artist brings rich history and experience to their art, providing a platform for the development of community relationships and learning through storytelling. This creates a mutually beneficial experience, helping children strengthen their sense of place through the building of intergenerational relationships. Heath Free Public Library. 413-337-4934. 1 East Main Street, Heath, MA. (FREE)
Berkshire Now: Peter Gordon
On view through February 21, 2016
This solo show of collages and paintings by Peter Gordon offers a powerful reminder of how our use of natural resources, goods, and services impact the environment. Using a contrast of natural and man-made elements, Berkshire Now: Peter Gordon at the Berkshire Museum emphasizes the fragility of the ecosystem in the context of modern society. In vivid collages, Gordon uses clippings of prices, sales slogans, and real estate offerings as the backdrops for animals, out of place in their now unfamiliar territory. Gordon hopes that his work will encourage viewers to make and promote environmentally conscious decisions in their daily lives. The exhibit is on display now through February 21, 2016 at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)
Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery
On view through February 27, 2016
This exhibition of paintings and handmade paper considers themes of life and decomposition as viewed through close visual studies. Jan Ruby-Crystal at Hope & Feathers Gallery displays thoughtful paintings of fruits and vegetables as they decompose, exploring how their patterns and shape changes through the process. The artist offers a transformative perspective as she shows how the decayed pulp can be converted into handmade paper. As the artist notes, “A new beauty arising from their end.” Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery. 413-835-0197. 319 Main Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
Read the rest of this entry »
January 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Art, Science)
Tags: Creative Free Play, Handmade Valentines, Making Valentines, STE(A)M, STEM, Valentine Making
Put Some STE(A)M into Your Valentines!
This Valentine’s Day, spread friendship and kindness throughout your community by participating in Hilltown Families’ 8th annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Participation is easy – all you have to do is sign up, make ten handmade valentines and drop them in the mail, and you’ll receive ten handmade cards in return. Not only is the event an opportunity for families to connect with others in their community, participation allows families the opportunity to be creative together – an activity that can lead not only to creative-free play, but can also offer hands-on learning in fields like physics, chemistry, geometry and cultural studies! Read on…
September 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Chalk Art Festival, Chalk Street Art, Northampton Chalk Art Festival, sidewalk chalk
Northampton Chalk Art Festival
Many children have used sidewalk chalk to create drawings, make hopscotch boards, or write notes and signs. When fine artists take to the sidewalks with their own ideas, the materials and setting are still very relatable for–and interesting to– kids, even if the products are quite different. The artists of this year’s Northampton Chalk Art Festival on Friday, September 11, everyone is invited to observe as they create new masterpieces on the sidewalks downtown.
Watching these artists at work provides opportunities to learn about different techniques, perspective, proportion, and expressing ideas through art. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm (Art, Community Based Education, Hilltown Families, Resources)
Tags: Art, Art Appreciation, art education, Community Based Education
Local Resources Support Community-Based Studies of Art
Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton is home of “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulutre,” the orchard features the work of 28 artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall.
Art is ever-present in life, and serves as an important means of communication and self-expression. Much of childhood is spent adding art to the world, and there is much to learn from exploring art and engaging in methods of creation!
Resources abound for learning about everything from art history to art materials, and here in western Massachusetts, the bulk of art-related learning resources are community-based.
From websites to studios to community organizations, there are endless ways for families to learn about and engage in the arts… and we have a great list for you! Read the rest of this entry »
August 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Art, Berkshire County, Community Based Education, Hilltown Families, MASS MoCA, Suggested Activity)
Tags: arts, Berkshire, Berkshire Cultural Resources Center, DownStreet Art, Easthampton City Arts+, Gateway City Arts, Mass MoCA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, North Berkshire County
DownStreet Art Promotes Community Engagement in the Arts in the Northern Berkshires
Previously in our series spotlighting arts-based community organizations, we featured Easthampton City Arts+ , Pittsfield’s 3rd Thursdays, Turners Falls RiverCulture, and Holyoke’s Gateway City Arts, all of which support a community’s cultural identify. Across western Massachusetts, many communities have become havens for artists of all kinds. The area is chock-full of painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, performers, and other creative types, their work saturating our communities with artistic expression in a wide variety of mediums. Connecting these artists and their work to the the rest of the community are arts organizations, which serve as valuable resources for connecting families with events and community-based learning opportunities.
This month, we feature DownStreet Art, an arts organization in North Adams that works to facilitate dialog between the local community and the arts, with the goal of creating social and economic capital as a result. A town formerly dependent on industry, North Adams has seen a rise in the role of the arts in the city community – a change that has helped the city to increase in both tourism and resident participation in community events. Following, largely, the establishment of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), the northern Berkshires have seen a rise in the role of the arts in the local community, and since its founding in 2008, DownStreet Art has connected over 100,000 people with arts-based events in North Adams’ downtown district, helping to fuel the cultural resurgence that brings the city to life. Read the rest of this entry »
August 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Art, art history, Museum)
Tags: Art History, Art Resource, illustration, Illustration History
Online Resource Provides Close-Up Look at the Art of Illustration
All children are familiar with illustrations, even if just from noticing an illustrator’s name noted on the cover of a favorite picture book. Illustration as an art form encompasses much more than images for children’s books; the art of illustration includes the creation of images for everything from advertisements to comic books. Using the Norman Rockwell Museum’s newest online resource, Illustration History, families can learn about the numerous forms of illustration, notable illustrators, and the connections between the art of illustration and history, culture, economics, and technology.
Launched just recently, Illustration History serves as both an educational resource and an archive, broadening the possibilities for learning with an extensive database of images and information about artists and illustration history. Read the rest of this entry »
May 6, 2015 at 9:00 am (Art, Berkshire County, Hilltown Families, Suggested Activity)
Tags: arts and culture Western Mass, arts community, local artists, Western Mass arts
Arts & Cultural Showcase Connects Community to Each Other
The City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development is revitalizing 3rd Thursday, the largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, and taking the festival back to the street for its ninth season!
Previously in our series spotlighting arts-based community organizations, we featured Easthampton City Arts+ and Turners Falls RiverCulture, both of which support a community’s cultural identify. Across western Massachusetts, many communities have become havens for artists of all kinds. The area is chock-full of painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, performers, and other creative types, their work saturating our communities with artistic expression in a wide variety of mediums. Connecting these artists and their work to the the rest of the community are arts organizations, which serve as valuable resources for connecting families with events and community-based learning opportunities.
This month, our focus moves to the Berkshires, where the city of Pittsfield’s 3rd Thursdays is about to kick off its 9th season of arts- and culture-based community events. A project of the city’s Office of Cultural Development, 3rd Thursdays celebrate all that the city has to offer, combing art, performance, food, and local culture to create exciting and engaging events that bring community members together in the heart of the city to learn and connect. Read the rest of this entry »
April 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Art, Franklin County, Hilltown Families, Suggested Activity)
Tags: art workshops, community art event, Community Based Education, Creative Free Play, interactive community events
Interactive Event & Workshops Invites Community to Make its Mark
Draw all over the walls (and the floor and the tables) at the Art Garden’s first annual 12-hour Hilltown Draw Around! Creative types of all ages are invited to participate in art making, community-building, and creative free play all day long!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to draw all over a room? The Art Garden is offering families exactly that opportunity! The first annual Hilltown Draw Around is a 12-hour interactive community art-making extravaganza held in a paper-covered gymnasium. Families can drop by between 12noon and midnight on Saturday, April 11th for a day filled with drawing workshops, community building, creative free play, and endless opportunities to draw anything and everything. And it’s not just for self-proclaimed artists – anyone and everyone is welcome to come and explore the creative materials available and make their own mark on the event.
A variety of volunteer-lead workshops throughout the day offer participants opportunities to learn new drawing-related skills or to participate in special projects – and many workshops use drawing as an entry point for interdisciplinary learning. A mathematical drawing workshop will teach participants about fractals, geometry, and the Golden Ratio, while a synesthesia-based drawing experience will help participants make connections between spoken language, color, and art, as well as teaching about the cognitive phenomenon that is synesthesia. Read the rest of this entry »
April 7, 2015 at 9:00 am (Art, Citizen Scientist, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families, Museum, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Climate Change, integrated art, Mead Art Museum, Millennium Project, Photography
Exhibition to Document Next Millennium of Climate Change in History’s Slowest Photograph
Formed 200 million years ago in the Late Triassic and boasting hundreds of distinct microclimates, the Holyoke Range is a site selected to document the transformation of the environment over the next 1,000 years.
This spring, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will install a camera, designed by experimental philosopher and Amherst College graduate Jonathon Keats, that will take a millennium-long photograph of the evolving landscape. The museum will unveil the photograph in the summer of 3015. Prior to the camera’s installation at the Mead, it will be it will be on display in the exhibition Jonathon Keats: Photographing Deep Time, on view April 15 through May 31, 2015.
What will the landscape of the Pioneer Valley look like a millennium from now? The Mead Art Museum and artist Jonathon Keats are determined to find out. As part of an exhibition of Keats’ work, the museum will install a special camera that will take a 1,000-year-long photograph tracking the changes in the local landscape over the next millennium.
Created using the basic design for a pinhole camera, the Millennium Camera will use oil paint and the light that enters the camera through a tiny hole in order to create an exposure that will reflect changes in Amherst’s landscape over time. Mounted at the top of the Stearns Steeple, the camera will get something a bit like a bird’s eye view of its surroundings. In 3015, the image created by the camera will be unveiled and viewed by a community living in a very different world than today’s.
The exhibit that marks the camera’s start is titled Photographing Deep Time, and will showcase Keats’ other work in deep time photography, including a 100-year photographic survey of the changing cityscape of Berlin. Rather than being focused on the end result of any image, Keats’ deep photography process is focused on connecting photograph viewers with the changes that take place over time that, together, create the final product.
Older students and adults wishing to hear more about the monumental project and Keats’ artistic process can attend an artist conversation at the Mead Art Museum from 2-3pm on Wednesday, April 15th. Photographing Deep Time will be on display at the museum through May 31st, providing families with the opportunity to explore the intersection of art, science, and the future’s history. This Wednesday afternoon event is free and open to the public and is part of the Arts at Amherst Spring Festival.
The Mead will also produce 100 pinhole cameras, each with a 100-year exposure time, for the public to hide somewhere in the Pioneer Valley, invisibly monitoring changes in the surrounding landscape between now and 2115. The cameras will be available at the Mead for $5 each and will come with a registration card for visitors to document their camera’s location. Participating families can join is a art-based citizen scientists! Read the rest of this entry »
April 6, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Art, Franklin County, Hilltown Families)
Tags: arts and culture Western Mass, arts education, arts in western massachusetts, western Massachusetts arts community
Turners Falls Artscape Promotes A Diversity of Artistic Disciplines
Last month in our series spotlighting arts-based community organizations, we featured Easthampton City Arts+, which supports the community’s cultural identify. Across western Massachusetts, communities have become havens for artists of all kinds. The area is chock-full of painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, performers, and other creative types, their work saturating our communities with artistic expression in a wide variety of mediums. Connecting these artists and their work to the the rest of the community are arts organizations, which serve as valuable resources for connecting families with events and community-based learning opportunities.
This month, we highlight the work of Turners Falls RiverCulture, an organization combining art, history, and recreation to build connections between community members and the cultural learning opportunities that exist within Turners Falls. RiverCulture both creates community-based learning opportunities and serves as a vehicle for connecting the community with preexisting opportunities to access resources for learning about local arts and culture. Read the rest of this entry »
March 31, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Art, Eric Carle Museum, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Art Exhibit, Butterflies, entomology, integrated art, nature education
The Art of Eric Carle:
Bees, Butterflies, and Other Bugs
On View April 7 – August 30, 2015
Amateur entomology takes the spotlight at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art during the next few months, as a new bug-themed exhibit fills the galleries! The Art of Eric Carle: Bees, Butterflies, and Other Bugs will be on view from April 7th – August 30th, 2015, and brings with it not only beautiful and delightful images featuring a host of insects, but a swarm of special bug-themed and Eric Carle-centric events as well.
Sparked by copious amounts of time spent outdoors as a child, Eric Carle’s picture books have often featured lovable insect characters, from fireflies to ladybugs to the iconic starving green caterpillar. The images featured in the exhibit are full of wings, crawly legs, and stingers, but portray the crawliest of earth’s inhabitants beautifully, with respect, reverence, and the light, playful style unique to Carle’s artwork.
In addition to a bug-filled gallery, the Eric Carle Museum will hold special events to accompany the exhibit. Over the next few months, families can take advantage of opportunities to engage in bug-themed hands-on art making in the museum’s studio, and can create their own original bug creations to add to a community art project that will adorn the trees in the museum’s orchard. Additionally, special events featuring bug-themed storytelling and comedy will be held, and the museum’s Children’s Book Festival (held on June 6th) will be bug-themed as well! Read the rest of this entry »
March 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm (Art, Citizen Scientist, Community Based Education, Ecology, Hilltown Families, Mass Appeal, Nature Based Education, Science, Suggested Activity, Volunteer Opportunity)
Tags: 22News, 22News Mass Appeal, Community Based Education, Mass Appeal, Sense of Place, Vernal Pools
Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: March Segment
Vernal Pools: Natural Habitats & Local Species as Community Resources
Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News! Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts, Ashley Kohl and Seth Stutman, to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).
This monthly segment continued on Thursday, March 26, 2015, highlighting how local habitats and native species can be used as a catalyst for learning. Through the lens of Vernal Pools and the animals that depend on them for survival, Sienna shares three methods of engagement as a way to support interests and education via Vernal Pools:
Vernal Pools: Methods of Engagement that Support Community-Based Learning
When looking for community-based resources that support learning via the lens of vernal pools, consider nature center, conservation organizations and your local library.
Phenology-based activities coincide with the natural changing of our seasons (our ultimate accessible community-based educational resource) and are great catalysts for learning through community engagement. Maple syrup season, filled with delicious community activities and opportunities, is our most recent seasonal activity here in Western MA. But can you name other seasonal events coming our way as winter transitions into spring? The one we want to highlight this month is Vernal Pools!
As the seasons transition and habitats and animals respond to the change in weather and climate, Vernal Pools begin to emerge and come to life based on the timing of this change and the relationship plants and animals have with their environment! Taking advantage of these changes and getting out into your community to participate in nature-based learning activities will support the development of skills and integrated learning in a wide variety of subjects.
Methods of engagement as they relate to Vernal Pools can include nature-based learning, service-based learning and citizen scientist, and the embedded learning families can extracted from these engagement opportunities can range from ecology to natural history, entomology to zoology, scientific process to art!
The following methods of engagement and events highlight these community-based resources and the embedded learning you can extract from participation: Read the rest of this entry »
February 24, 2015 at 9:00 am (Animals, Art, Hilltown Families, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Animal Studies, arts program, Conservation, duck program, nature education, Painting, waterfowl
Junior Duck Program Motivates Kids to Study Nature with an Artistic Eye
Combining artistic expression and conservation, the annual Junior Duck Stamp Program gives children the opportunity to study local waterfowl and practice using their artistic skills to portray them in their native habitat. The competition even provides curriculum materials to support families and educators in expanding children’s learning as they participate!
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the commonwealth of Massachusetts has been a leader in the study of waterfowl species and their habitat. In keeping with this scientific tradition and commitment, children of almost any age are invited to participate in this year’s Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp Program! An annual art contest that pairs the study of waterfowl with artistic expression, the Junior Duck Stamp Program provides a platform for learning about conservation, the environment, species identification, and artistic expression!
Open to children in grades K-12 (or of the age equivalent to grades K-12), participation in the Junior Duck Stamp Program requires young scientists and artists to create original pieces of artwork that showcase a species of waterfowl native to Massachusetts. Children may use visual aids in order to create their pieces, so as to ensure that the shape, size, coloration, and surroundings that they create are accurate, but all works of art should be entirely original, rather than drawn or painted as a copy of a photograph, drawing, or other representation of a bird. Read the rest of this entry »
February 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Art, art history, Berkshire County, History, Museum)
Tags: Art, Art History, Claude Flight, Cubism, Futurism, Machine Age, modernism, The Clark
Machine Age Modernism Exhibit At Clark Art Institute Captures Turmoil & Upheaval
Clark Art Institute’s Machine Age Modernism exhibition explores groundbreaking printmaking and offers community-based learning opportunity on art history. Exhibition opens February 28, 2015 in Williamstown, MA.
The Clark Art Institute considers the history and politics that inspired many artists working during and between World Wars I and II in the exhibition Machine Age Modernism: Prints from the Daniel Cowin Collection. Influenced by such prewar movements as Futurism and Cubism, and using innovative techniques developed by artists associated with London’s Grosvenor School of Modern Art in the 1930s and 1940s, artists of the Machine Age defied aesthetic and technical conventions in order to convey the vitality of industrial society and changed printmaking in the process. Machine Age Modernism will be on view in the Clark Center February 28–May 17, 2015.
Read the rest of this entry »
February 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm (Art, Craft Ideas, Hilltown Families)
Tags: art swap, Artist Trading Cards, building community, creating art, creative community, Creativity, sharing
Artist Trading Cards Promote the Spirit of Community
Does your family love to make and share art? Join ATCs for All in order to be part of an online community of artists, the purpose of which is to inspire creativity, and to collect and share artwork! Families can learn about the many different forms that art can take, while experimenting with new materials and connecting with other creative folks!
Following in the wake of Hilltown Families’ Annual Handmade Valentine Swap, the creative, collaborative, and community-building possibilities offered by ATCs for All share a common thread with Hilltown Families’ annual swap – the purpose of the organization is to make and share art with willing, eager, and inspired participants everywhere! ATCs for All (the ATCs being short for Artist Trading Cards) is a community-run group that utilizes a website in order to facilitate art sharing of all kinds!
Originally started in order to give creative folks a venue through which to share hand-crafted trading cards and mail art, ATCs for All now encompasses a wide variety of art forms, including (but not limited to!) stamping, painting, collage, fabric art, book-art, and altered art. While making and trading artist trading cards is still an important part of what ATCs for All offers, it’s not the only way to participate in art sharing! Read the rest of this entry »
February 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm (Art, Hampden County, Hilltown Families)
Tags: African American History, Art, arts education, Black History Month, Exhibit, Robin Joyce Miller
Rhythms of a Faithful Journey: Verses from Slavery to Presidency
African-American artist, educator, poet and author Robin Joyce Miller will present a slideshow and an exhibit of 14 mixed-media collage quilts at 7pm, Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in the Borgia Gallery at Elms College in Chicopee, MA.
The framed pieces in this exhibit are approximately 35″ x 46″. Twelve of them illustrate African-American history events or periods accompanying poetry from the book. Recitations of poems that accompany these works of art will be included in the presentation.
The slideshow, Restoring My African Soul, is a personal narrative of the journey to restoration and healing through faith, art, poetry and photography. Miller co-authored Rhythms of a Faithful Journey with her husband, James Walter Miller, who also will read some poems at the event. Read the rest of this entry »
January 28, 2015 at 11:00 am (Art, Easthampton, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families)
Tags: Art Exhibit, photo history, photo journalism, photograph exibit
Anonymous Snapshots Found by Collectors Encourage Cultural Voyeurism
Sunday, Feb 1 – Saturday, Feb 28, 2015
In today’s tech-saturated world, it’s safe to assume that virtually every single photograph we see was likely taken (and uploaded to the web) only moments prior. We are accustomed to receiving instant updates, we expect constant contact, and we require visual documentation of unlikely experiences. With all this focus on the present, how often do we take time to think about, or look at, the past? Both jaw-droppingly unlikely and seemingly mundane moments throughout American culture have been documented by amateur and professional photographers over time. But what makes a photo valuable as a cultural or historical document? How does one draw the line between “just another family photo” and a particularly special shot? (And why is it necessary to create a hierarchy of photographs?) Read the rest of this entry »
December 3, 2014 at 10:59 am (Art, Hilltown Families)
Tags: Cultural Studies, google cultural institute, museum education, on-line learning, web based learning, web based resource
Web-based Resource Brings You Global Learning
The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant is one of the institutions that you can access through Google Cultural Institute, an in-depth web based learning resource.
Web-based learning just became more fascinating thanks to Google Cultural Institute! Providing an in-depth look at art, culture, architecture, history, etc. from all over the world, Google Cultural Institute provides endless educational opportunities and extensive information on each topic it covers. Explore the institute to see what fascinating cultural gems you can find!
In our parents’ childhoods, international travel would’ve been a requirement for learning about some of the world’s most beautiful and interesting cultural treasures. In order to tour a European art museum or an Asian architectural wonder, we would’ve needed to physically visit the actual location– meaning a strong commitment to learning about the particular place, as a visit would require hours of expensive travel before and afterwards.
Nowadays, however, the wonders of the world are easily accessible – thanks to Google Cultural Institute! A web-based resource providing in-depth, up-close-and-personal looks at the contents of museums and archives from all over the planet, Google Cultural Institute provides the richness of cultural treasures without the extensive travel. Offering opportunities to learn about everything from the collections of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant to wartime memorials in Ireland, Google Cultural Institute provides incredibly extensive information, diagrams, and photographs about each subject, location, or artwork included in the institute.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 24, 2014 at 9:00 am (Art, Community Based Education, Hilltown Families, Science, Take Action)
Tags: Art Contest, Climate Change, Community Based Education, Cool Science, Environmentalism, Science, STE(A)M, STEM, UMass Lowell
Power of Public Art Drives Critical Thinking in Community Based Learning
Public art is designed to make us think. Whether it’s about local history, traffic safety, or our cultural heritage, public artwork sends a message. Children have the opportunity to create public artwork to send a message about climate change by participating in UMass Lowell’s Cool Science contest! Young artists can learn about climate science and art with a purpose by creating entries, and winners might get to see their art made public. Entries are due by Dec 1, 2014.
Public art plays an important role in communities throughout western Massachusetts. Murals, sculptures, chalk drawings, and installations in public spaces help to share history, culture, and new ideas with everyone who sees them. Public art is, perhaps, the most accessible of all art forms – viewing does not require intentionality, it simply requires eyes to be open to the world. One of the best parts of public art is the power that it has to spread meaningful messages – to remind us to love one another, to make us think about how we treat public spaces, and to even make us look twice before crossing the street.
Currently, students have the opportunity to submit artwork into a public art contest. UMass Lowell’s annual Cool Science artwork competition asks students in grades K-12 (or homeschool equivalent) to create works of art inspired by their learning about climate change. Winners of the contest will have their artwork displayed on clean fuel-burning city buses in Lowell, providing young artists with the opportunity to have their message-sending masterpieces turned into mobile public art. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families)
Tags: animal rights, Art Exhibit, call to action, endangered species, Photography
Artist Dawn Howkinson Siebel’s Portraits of Endangered Species Are a Call to Action
Sunday, November 9, 2014 through Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Animalia: The Endangered at the Hampden Gallery, celebrates the artist’s keen understanding of the life force embodied in these majestic animals. Siebel paints these intimate oil portraits of endangered species, wherein the being-ness of each animal shines forth. Melting into a deep shadow that holds the animal like an embrace, the darkness swallows form and place, and stands in for context. With each stroke of the brush, Seibel champions for the rights of these animals to simply be. The artist reminds us…the animals are disappearing.
This November, UMass Amherst’s Hampden Gallery hosts an exhibition by the multitalented Dawn Howkinson Siebel, perhaps best known for her painted and batik-dyed silk kimono collection sold at Bergdorf Goodman in the ‘80s, and more recently for her Better Angels series, in which she painted over 300 individual portraits of New York City firefighters who served on September 11, 2001 on burnt blocks of wood. Of Better Angels, she says the project evolved from her desire to “create something positive in response to something terrible.”
Her FAC show, Animalia: The Endangered, is a timely follow-up to that work: one that will hopefully spark a positive, urgent response in viewers to an ongoing environmental disaster. “Over 40 percent of all species on Earth are threatened with extinction,” Siebel says. “The ‘threatened’ classification includes 2129 Critically Endangered, 3079 Endangered, and 4728 Vulnerable animal species – and counting. These numbers are two to three times higher than they were only fifteen years ago.” Read the rest of this entry »
November 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm (Art, Eric Carle Museum, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families)
Tags: Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline, Picture Book Art, Picure Book, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans
On View in Western MA, November 15, 2015 – February 22, 2015
“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines / Lived twelve little girls … the smallest one was Madeline.” So begins each book in Ludwig Bemelmans’ beloved and universally recognized Madeline series about a brave, mischievous, and lovable young girl attending boarding school in Paris. Published in the United States in 1939, the first book about Madeline came at a time when travel opportunities were limited; Bemelmans’ lush, evocative paintings and illustrations of the “City of Light” offered readers of all ages an escape from the ongoing economic and political turmoil occurring across the globe.
Three generations later, Bemelmans’ illustrations- not to mention his precocious heroine!- are just as beloved. Celebrate Madeline’s 75th anniversary in print by visiting Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, this winter! The first exhibition dedicated solely to Bemelmans’ work in fifty years, it contains a selection of original artwork from his books, as well as mural panels, objects from the French bar he briefly owned, La Colombe, and personal items such as his well-loved paintbox. The exhibition begins on Saturday, November 15th, 2014, and will run through February 22, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2014 at 9:00 am (Art, Berkshire County, Museum, music, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Exhibit, Indian Art, indian culture, Indian History, Indian Music, multicultural learning, ragamala
Miniature Paintings from 17th- and 18th- Century India Capture Moods of Music and Poetry at Williams College Museum of Art
Ragamala represents a dynamic intermingling of music, poetry, and painting in India. Ragamala is Sanskrit for a “garland of ragas,” which are unique musical compositions. Drawn from the museum’s rich Indian collection, this exhibition features sixteen ragamala paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but what about a picture that illustrates those words… or even a song? How might you translate the mood evoked by an instrumental song into a picture, painting, or even a poem?
Between the 16th and 19th centuries in India, a classical Indian musical tradition called a raga, took on a new characteristic that did just that. A raga, which translates roughly from Sanskrit into beauty, melody, and color, is similar to a musical scale: a selection of musical notes arranged specifically to convey, or color, a mood; discrete ragas are used to represent specific times of day and/or seasons. These complex, richly textured melodies inspired poets to create poems based on the moods they evoked. Artists then transposed these poems and melodies into paintings that visually convey the moods, events, and seasons represented by each raga and poem, and often include a few lines from the associated poem.
The Williams College Museum of Art will have a ragamala–a set of these miniature paintings–on display between September 27, 2014 through January 4, 2015. Sixteen miniatures from the museum’s notable Indian art collection will be on view. Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: art installation, arts community, creative economy, Florence arts, installation artists, Northampton arts, Pioneer Valley arts
Third Florence Night Out Event Showcases Creative Community Members
Friday, September 19, 2014 from 5:30-8:30pm
A year after the first Florence Night Out (FNO), the widely-anticipated event is back and bigger than ever with an innovative new take on installation art: “Mobile Art Boxes” (MABs), a collaboration between FNO founder Donnabelle Casis, several local artists, and Florence-based business owner Tony Gleason. The MABs are six 8’x8’x16’ storage boxes from Gleason’s company, DIY Mobile Box, that have each been outfitted to contain a multimedia installation by a local artist. The types of art presented in the MABs range from performance to sound art to multimedia to simply the physical installation of objects – and to add to the evening’s excitement, the MABs will be located in unexpected spots throughout downtown Florence. The artists whose work is featured in the MABs are: John Slepian (performance art), Jake Meginsky (sound art/installation), Maggie Nowinski (video), Chris Nelson (installation), Sally Curcio & Anne LaPrade Suethe (installation), The Quarry & The Coast with Mount Emult aka Matthew Newman (short films).
This is a community-based way to engage in installation art while connecting with the many creative people and projects in our area! It’s a great opportunity for a family outing or a Parents’ Night Out: the tremendous number of activities and performances – not to mention delicious refreshments! – should satisfy even the most antsy kids or culture-hungry adults! Read the rest of this entry »
September 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Art, Hampden County, Hilltown Families, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Art Exhibit, Art History, arts community, arts education, drawing exhibit, Fauvist, history education, line work, Matisse, Pioneer Valley arts
Drawings by Henri Matisse on view at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum now through December 14, 2014
This latest exhibition at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum is expected to “draw” crowds: an exclusive selection of 45 drawings by Henri Matisse, the widely-known 20th century French artist known best for his colorful, expressive portrayal of the human form in paintings, sculptures, cut paper, and drawings. The drawings on display span half a century and include both sketches and finished drawings.
Students of art and art history will be particularly excited about this exhibition because it offers an opportunity to interact with original artworks by a historically significant artist right here in Western Massachusetts. A chance to eliminate the need for excessive travel and planning, while still showing your kids the art of one of the great masters: it’s a foolproof combination!
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September 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Art, Hampden County, Hilltown Families, Museum, Suggested Activity)
Tags: art education, Art Exhibit, Art History, ceramics, history education, potter, pottery
Ceramics Exhibition Explores Craftsmanship Over 6,000 Years
At Mount Holyoke College Art Museum through May 31, 2015
A wonderful example of ceramics as an “objets d’art.”
Have you ever taken a ceramics class? The feeling of the clay molding into recognizable shapes like bowls and plates is so satisfying, matched only by the feeling of accomplishment once the piece has been fired and glazed and is ready to be used. The creation—and usage—of functional objects has been part of the human experience for as long as humans have existed, and the ways in which these objects are made and regarded has evolved over time. From the purely practical and utilitarian to veritable objets d’art, ceramics have served a wide range of people in an even wider range of ways. And as the world’s peoples grew, developed, and traveled, so did their tools and artwork; this allowed for further dispersion and interchange of ideas and techniques. Read the rest of this entry »
July 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm (Art, Hampden County, Springfield Museum)
Tags: Art, art education, Art Exhibit, art installation, Museums, Springfield Museums
Stories from the Kitchen Sink: Comic Multimedia Installation Examines American Domesticity
From now through Sunday, June 21, 2015, the Community Gallery at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, MA, will host a special, site-specific installation by Sheffield, Massachusetts-based artist Ricky Bernstein. The installation, titled Stories from the Kitchen Sink: Bob and Phyllis Learn New Tricks, contains oversized collage-style graphics that depict stereotypically-American domestic scenes. These “still life sit-com” images are both humorous and critical, drawing attention to past and present ideas about modern life, multi-tasking, and gender roles.
Younger viewers will be particularly interested in these energetic, colorful, stylized representations of American families, and students interested in Pop Art and contemporary art will be able to draw connections between Bernstein and other artists who used graphic, comic imagery, while parents and adults will appreciate the gently satirical sentiments and questions that Bernstein’s installation poses. Read the rest of this entry »
July 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County)
Tags: community based learning, documentation, exhibits, photo exhibit, Photography, Storytelling
Local Photography Exhibits Illuminate Regional Histories
This month, two photography exhibitions in Western Massachusetts will offer audiences a similar, yet very different, viewing experience. Lisa Quiñones’ Balkan Odyssey, now on view at Easthampton City Arts+ Gallery, and Chester Michalik’s Northampton In Time, on view at Historic Northampton starting Friday, July 11, both contain photographs of everyday life and scenes in their respective regions: Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, and Northampton, Mass. Read the rest of this entry »
June 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm (Amherst, Art, Eric Carle Museum, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Children's Literature, Harriet the Spy
After surviving early library bans; continues to inspire critical thinking, writing and observation skills in children.
Now through November 30, 2014, the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst invites you to a special exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of author and illustrator Louise Fitzhugh’s 1964 book Harriet the Spy. The exhibition will feature a selection of original drawings from both Harriet the Spy and its sequel, The Long Secret. Eleven year old Harriet, the only child of wealthy New York socialites, wants to be a writer, and spends her afternoons secretly observing her friends and neighbors and recording her observations in a notebook. The book helps readers explore themes of class, gender, and friendship in the 1960’s.
Harriet the Spy is now widely regarded as a classic children’s story – even more well-known and well-loved following its reincarnation as the 1996 film of the same name starring a young Michelle Trachtenberg – but, interestingly enough, when the book was first published in the mid-sixties, it received a good deal of controversy and was even banned by some libraries! Compared with other children’s and young adult book characters at the time, Fitzhugh’s curious, independent, impatient, and tomboyish young protagonist challenged dominant social ideas about how children, girls in particular, could and should behave. Many reviewers have since noted, though, that it is precisely Harriet’s fierce independence and desire to understand other people through observation that endears her to readers of all ages. Her “bad” behavior is relatable, and a refreshingly honest portrayal of childhood, while her struggle to stay true to herself and her ideas in a world that doesn’t understand or appreciate deviance from the norm resonates deeply with readers on their own path to self-discovery. Read the rest of this entry »
June 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Art, Berkshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: integrated art, Marilene Oliver, Mass MoCA, Medical Art, medical imaging technology, Nick Veasey, STE(A)M, STEM
Art Using X-ray Scans Sparks Discussion of Body Image & More at MASS MoCA
Saturday, June 14, 2014 through Tuesday, May 26, 2015
MASS MoCA’s Kidspace kicks off the summer with a new exhibition and activity program. The exhibition, “It’s Only Human,” features work by British artists Nick Veasey and Marilene Oliver, who are both internationally recognized for their innovative uses of medical imaging technology in their art. Both artists’ works illuminate the complexities of human bodies and the systems by which they are regulated, and inspire dialogue about the inner beauty of all human beings, regardless of our outer appearances, and serve as a creative jumping-off point for discussions of anatomy, health, and wellness, as well as self-image. While this exhibition is on display at Kidspace, visitors of all ages – especially those interested in science and medicine – will find it engaging and educational.
Veasey’s work is often focused on the human skeleton and inner structural elements. He is famous for creating one of the largest X-ray scans in the world – of a Boeing 777 airplane! – and this exhibition at Kidspace features a similarly gigantic X-ray of a bus filled with passengers. Do you think you will be able to distinguish the structure of the bus from the skeletal structures occupying it? Veasey has also X-rayed a person on a motorcycle. What can you infer about his choice to scan vehicles used for human transportation, including their passengers? Why might this be significant? Why it is important to be able to identify the structures embedded within everyday objects and people? Read the rest of this entry »
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